Tracking Meals for Weight Management

weight managementTracking Meals for Weight Management

For effective weight loss and management, it is recommended that you track your meals. Studies show that people who track their meals daily lose twice as much weight and are better able to maintain their weight loss. Meal tracking is an effective way of keeping up with your calorie, fat, and sodium intake.

Tracking your meals helps you with three fundamental keys to weight management:


By keeping track of each thing you eat, you are more likely to be aware of how much you are eating. You are also keeping track of exactly what you eat. A lot of times people eat without thinking about what or how much they are putting into their bodies. Tracking will make you aware of your choices.


Since you are more aware of how much and what you are eating for each meal and snacks, you are more likely to be accountable for what you eat. Holding yourself accountable for what you eat will help you to make better, more informed choices.


Seeing visible proof of what and how much you are eating during meals and snack time can help you to be better able to make changes. For example, if you are keeping vigorous notes on everything you eat, you are less likely to have that second helping of macaroni and cheese, or you may end up choosing a healthier snack instead of cookies.

What are some effective methods of tracking?

Keep a handwritten food diary.

It is as simple as writing down what you eat and when. Use a small spiral notebook or composition notebook to write down the details of what you eat. Be sure to include not just what you ate, but how much of it you ate. Write in your drinks too, including how much water you drink per day. Make sure to keep your diary on you at all times so you don’t forget to write anything in.

Use a web based food diary.

A lot of health focused websites are offering comprehensive online food diaries to help you track your meals. Some of these websites also include information about the caloric content of your foods and give you advice on what changes to make. You may want to consider keeping a small notebook to write down anything you eat when away from your computer in case you forget.

Smartphone food tracking applications are great.

If you have a Smartphone, you need never be without a high tech food diary in the palm of your hand. Today, there are apps for everything, including food tracking. Some apps even include calorie counters to help you keep up with your caloric intake. You can also track your daily exercises and chores and keep up with the amount of calories you expend per day as well.

Any of these food tracking options can be extremely beneficial with your weight management goals. Keeping close track of what you eat can help you be aware of what and how much you are eating, make you more accountable for your choices, and help you take action to achieve your weight management goals.

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About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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